Winter Natural Hair Care – My Routine

You may have read this over at Curly Nikki last week during our article swap! If you didn’t, and you’d like to read about my winter hair care routine – here you go! (this has been slightly edited from the previous post!)

(like my jacket? It’s by Sejour! expect an epic post soon!)

My hair has a love/hate relationship with winter. Crisp cold air seems to bring out my curl pattern to noticeable effect – after the frizzy heat of summer, my hair is thrilled by the coolness of fall, and it spirals just the way I want it. As fall turns to winter, the spirally coils remain… but then my hair becomes dry, dry, dry. So it looks good, but feels brittle and often gets tangles and knots. My hair needs more love in the winter, and I have to combat the winter dryness with changes in my day to day regimen. This is what has been working for me!

#1 – sleep on a satin pillowcase. For me, right now it’s all about the Sharmooz. I change my bedding to warmer stuff in the winter – it’s all flannel and plush microfiber. But under my head, it’s silk and satin all the way. My head can’t keep a bonnet on at night, so it has to be a pillowcase. The Sharmooz is one of the nicest I’ve been lucky enough to try – and it comes in a variety of beautiful patterns. (photo above is of the Sharmooz scarf wrap, which is fashionable and also comes in a variety of patterns. Is this model not TOO fly?!)

#2 – I already don’t shampoo more than once a week, tops – but during cold weather months it becomes even less frequent. In addition to deep conditioning, I also conditioner wash my hair once or twice a week, just so I can detangle it. My go-to everyday conditioner wash is currently the super affordable Suave almond and shea butter conditioner, which is great for my detangling purposes, and I also LOVE Darcy’s Botanicals pumpkin seed moisturizing conditioner. It’s so seasonal and delicious-smelling!

#3 – I need product in my hair as SOON as I get out of the shower! I keep my hair products and face lotion within reach so I can moisturize my situation while I’m still warm and moist from showering. I’ve been spritzing my hair with Oyin juices and berries, or sometimes I use Peter Lamas’ Repair Me detangling mist Then I use a heavier product from root to tip – lately I’ve been using Oyin Whipped Butter or Karen’s Body Beautiful’s Butter Love.

#4 – In winter my hair’s needs change completely – in the summer, my hair loves coconut oil. In the winter, my hair loves and needs castor oil and shea butter. So lately I’ve been using Oils from Jamaica castor oil – I pour a quarter-sized amount of castor oil in my hands, warm it up by rubbing my hands together, and then I basically style my hair with it. I also give myself a little scalp massage – I’m convinced that it’s helped to cut back on my dry scalp issues.

#5 – At least every 2 weeks, I do a deep, deep conditioning treatment with a heavier conditioning product. And when I do that, I also use the Huetiful Steamer. I like to use a really thick decadent treatment. That’s when I’ll break out my last reserve remnants of Ojon restorative treatment, or Miss Jessie’s Rapid Recovery Treatment. The Huetiful is all that and then some. It’s definitely made a difference in terms of maintaining my hair’s moisture and health as the weather gets more and more frightful.
#5 – If I’m going out to brave the elements, then I have to think about my headgear choices. If it isn’t snowing, I’ll go out as is and rock my fro big and curly. However, you lose so much heat through your head if you go walking around in cold weather…so I usually take a big scarf or I’ll wear a big stretchy, slouchy hat to cover my whole head. It hasn’t been easy, but I found a few – a big purple hat with ear flaps and a pompom on it by Jessica Simpson (got that at Marshalls!) and a gray one from Urban Outfitters which was too expensive if you ask me. I actually just heard from a fellow afrobella who makes silk and satin lined winter headgear – her site is – I’m trying to get one of her knit hooded scarves to get me through the season!

That’s what has been working for me thus far. I’m always down to try something new, especially if it will help to keep my hair healthy and strong and protected against the elements. So this winter, I also plan to experiment with twists and other protective styles.

Swapping articles with Curly Nikki made me realize, I need to step my game up! I’ve been slackin’! Are you as detailed as she is in your hair care approach? Or are you more like me, and kinda loosey goosey figuring-it-out-as-you-go-along as I am about it?

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  1. I want a Huetiful Steamer so bad!

  2. Would you be able to explain the difference between regular castor oil and Jamaican castor oil? I keep seeing that people are using it, but not sure why the switch.

    • Veronica Cepin says:

      It really depends on the company. Jamaican Castor oil is usually roasted so it has a very nutty roasted smell and is usually darker in color. Regular castor oil can be cold pressed and is usually clear to slightly yellow in color. Make sure to read the label clearly when purchasing.

  3. is awesome!! I must get my hands on one of those beautiful, gorgeous berets with the flower applique, and one of the gorgeous hooded scarfs! I can’t wait to get my hands on both!! :)

  4. I’ve been loosey goosey trying to figure it out.. my hair is about 6inches longer this winter than it was last so my routine is changing LOL.. I’ve been rocking twists but I’m suffering some damage so I’m going for a cut in a few days then I shall begin my winter haircare process.. thanks 2 u and curlynikki for the tips.. :)

  5. Ok that hatsome site.. THANK YOU.. I’ve been looking for something like this.. I need a few of those hats in my life..

  6. It’s truly a learning process. I never had to think about a winter routine until I moved to Boston from North Carolina 3 years ago. The winters up here have a much more dramatic effect on my skin and hair because we are so much farther north, east, and on the water. Hats and hoods are non-negotiable so I strongly agree with the satin-lining recommendation, one a hairdresser gave me a couple of years back. I’m all about the shea butter products come November/December.

  7. OMG, I LOVE THOSE HATS!! I just sent it to all the sistas in my office!!!

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  9. I’ve always wondered in the winter time, what do afrobellas wear on their heads to keep warm while rocking the fro? How do you maintain your curl formation without it getting frizzy and losing that curl formation? I wear thick scarves around my head that covers my ears, I also wear ear/headband warmers, but I still find that even though my ears are warm, sometimes my head isn’t. And I also find that my hair gets dried when exposed to really cold air or when it’s snowing or drizzling out, my hair is wet and cold. When I do wear hats, I find that my curls are smashed and frizzy…I sometimes carry a spray bottle around with water to lightly mist my hair, but I get tired of doing this…So what do you afrobellas wear for winter wear? How do you keep your fro looking fly when it is dead cold out???

  10. Curly hair is more “high maintenance” than straight. I have curly hair and I spend a big chunk of my money just for hair products

  11. Northwest Lady says:

    I am loosey goosey like you. You are great and I love your website. Always do you! =)

  12. I have got to get a hair steamer ASAP!!!!!!!!!

  13. Sebastain13 says:

    I want a steamer as well I hope to get one for my bday It will help my dryness It has been very cold here in NC so Shamekia needs it
    I do not have a routine yet but Im trying to get there Its so difficult because I feel like Im experimenting but I have to do that to find out what my hair really likes

  14. Excellent tips, bella!! I’ve been meaning to try that Jamaican castor oil, thanks for the reminder. ;)

  15. Your hair looks healthy/happy to me. Sometimes I think because these young girls are in their 20s-early 30s they still have all the energy to get intense and creative in their natural hair care. I’m 50, menopausal and while I love looking my best, I don’t want to take up half the day and/or night to do that. I’m real sure there has to be a simplier way. If you’re found it, let it be. Ms CurlyNikki is in the process of learning that since Baby G has come along.

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  1. [...] wavering winters like this, I go back to the tried, tested and true winter hair care routine – click here to read that classic post. I switch to heavier hair care products – now’s the time to bust out your funnel or take out [...]

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